Recently resigned Guam Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks was so eager to make her candidacy for Guam Delegate to the U.S. Congress official that she headed up to the second floor offices of the Guam Election Commission at the GCIC Building in Hagatna ten minutes early, ahead of some punctually arriving local media members.
Brooks was accompanied by her husband, Attorney James Brooks, and a number of friends, relatives and supporters, as well as a few other Republican office seekers.
Brooks put in nearly 18 years as the first and only head of OPA to date; Guam law requires a special election to fill the office within 90 days of the vacancy.
So far, she's the only GOP candidate for the office; Incumbent Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo and Sen. Mike San Nicolas, both Democrats will contest their primary.
Brooks said a top issue for her is improving the health care of Guam's aging military veteran population, a matter that Bordallo has been pressured on at home and by her account, actively pursued in Washington . "One of the things I'm working on is to get better health care for our aging veterans because the area up there [Guam Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Agana Heights] is really not the clinic that they're looking for, so I think part of the challenge is to get more veterans to register. Another area is the unfunded mandates, to get more money for them. Earned income tax credits. That's been a major problem for GovGuam over the years that has hurt us. The Medicare upgrade because Guam is still saddled in the 1990s. And then, Compact impact and the reimbursement of that."
"Oh, and the H2B worker matter. I'm glad to see we're getting it for the military, but it has stopped construction in the private sector, so at least in the military aspect we can see some relief, but not the private sector. "
It was also clear that candidate Brooks will be reprising frequent criticism that Bordallo did not accept a compromise proposal on World War II Guam reparations, leading to the present situation:
"This is where our delegate messed up on this, because this was offered by [U.S. Senator John McCain] many years ago, you've heard of that, the McCain amendment. She turned it down. McCain's offer at that time was for the people affected. What she wanted was for their off-spring. Now, we have exactly what McCain wanted. We're coming out of our right pocket and paying out of our left pocket. It's coming out of our Section 30 monies. So that's that's what I mean when I say, rather than having it come out of our pocket, we need to have it go back on the federal government."